The confinement period or the 30-40 days post-delivery is a period of mixed experiences. On one side, you will be pampered and fed and on the other side, your new born will keep you busy with her constant demands. I call this confinement period a rejuvenation treatment. Why treatment? Because it is a ritual that helps clean your system, helps in lactation and helps you get fit and strong. The foods that are fed are specially designed to build your strength post delivery.
I belong to a Marwari family that has been staying in Ahmedabad for a few generations now. Hence, my confinement ritual was influenced by both Marwari and Gujarati cultures.
- Morning after the delivery, I was given dashmool kadha and I took it every day for the next 10 days. It’s a black, murky and bitter concoction that has specially chosen herbs that help in regaining the strength of the uterus after the delivery. It’s available in powder and liquid form. The liquid can be taken straight from the bottle while the powder, you need to boil in water, strain and then consume.
- I used to drink cow’s milk twice a day. But remember, cow’s milk is full of allergens, so discontinue if it doesn’t suit you.
- My meals used to be simple but laden with cow milk’s ghee. Ghee is believed to be pure, light to digest and full of benefits for a young mother. Only a few selected vegetables like bottle gourd (doodhi), ridge gourd (tauri), elephant foot yam (suran), pear gourd (parval) and Indian round gourd/apple gourd (tinda) are served. Greens like fenugreek (methi) and spinach (palak) can also be taken in abundance. Only split moong lentils is believed to be light enough for a new mother. All these above-mentioned foods are easy to digest and don’t create wind.
- Generally spices are avoided. Only spices allowed are turmeric and cumin seeds. It’s believed that what a mother eats passes on to the new born via her milk. Hence, she should refrain from eating anything that could bother her baby as a new born’s digestive powers are not developed enough to digest Indian spices, oil and heavy to digest vegetables and pulses like potato, cauliflower, cabbage, rajma, chhola etc.
- Drink lots of water. But it will benefit you more if you also boil tulsi leaves, ginger and dill seeds in the water. These ingredients help in digestion, improve immunity and increase lactation.
- I remember drinking Ganthoda water as well. It helps build strength. But I had soon discontinued it; it tasted weird.
- There is another jadibooti or ayurvedic herb called Hirabol which is supposed to be helpful in preventing joint pains.
I may have left out a few points. If you know or remember any tips to help new mothers build their strength post delivery, do write to me. Your contribution will be greatly helpful and appreciated.